Crazy Cow Country Farm

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I cantered Buck for the first time, but it wasn’t planned

May 4th, 2008 · No Comments · Uncategorized

It’s just been one of those days you know?

As I drove out to get the paper at 6:00 am all was quiet on the farm but I arrived home to find the foal out in the road, mom charging the fence, and the entire herd freaking out.  I finished my job and woke Ed up so we could get him back in gently, but the little guy ended up charging back through the fence, getting horribly tied up in the process.  Luckily Ed’s a fast worker and before we had a full stampede on our hands, he had him back with mom.  That was the first problem.

Jen’s been having some respect issues with Cartman so her plan is to ride in pasture for a couple weeks until they work out their issues.  Lisa helped her work on a disengage to stop and get collected again so she told Jen to do that at a walk, then trot, then canter.  We’re all sitting around wondering how on earth this sharp turn/disengage hindquarters is going to work at a full canter but we figured we’ll cross that bridge when we get there.  So I had the brilliant idea to ride Buck out in the pasture with her.  Now, I’ve already had him out on our short ride through the country and he did fine – we’ve ridden in the pastures without incident as well.  After our ride yesterday in the pen I was trying to get my nerve up to canter him ….. but that gets me into a real bundle of nerves because I’ve seen that boy buck and it’s ugly if you know what I mean.

After about 20 minutes of nice calm walking with lots of starts and stops we decide to ask for a trot and for some reason, Buck didn’t respond.  He’s never not responded.  So I asked again.  No response.  Knowing I needed to escalate I ask again with body language, a kiss, and now a little leg.  Holy crap we had a rodeo!  He went flat sideways and nearly ran into Cartman which spooked him so he took another sharp turn and he decided to head for the barn.  At this point, my brain hasn’t kicked in and all I could think of is, Hang on.  You’re in for a ride.  Tuck and roll if you come off.  You WILL NOT DIE!   Then my worst nightmare, I felt his back end lift up for a kick and I knew he was going to start bucking.  I wasn’t going to admit this but with a nickname like Loopy, no one will be surprised.  I swear I’m not blond (no offense to any blonds!) but honest to goodness my next thought was, Oh wow, his bucks are really smooth and not bad at all!  Umm, he wasn’t bucking.  Turns out he was cantering, HARD, and out of control headed to the barn.  Somehow I remembered that I could ride this out and disengage to collect him back to me but I needed to do it now and HARD.  I guess at that point I woke up, settled my seat, and gave him a swift request to disengage.  He turned, disengaged, stopped immediately, and stood stock still while we both calmed down.  Jen had headed down the pasture to block the way and by now she had come up next to me.  We went over what happened and then worked him some more in the pasture to keep him collected.  He did great so I took him back to the pen and trotted around with perfect control so we ended on a nice positive note.

So.  We learned a couple things.  I learned that one little buck and then smooth riding is most likely not a bucking rodeo.  I also learned that it is not only possible to get an instantaneous disengaged hindquarters from a full gallop to a complete stop but it’s actually quite easy and really very smooth.  I also learned that Buck has a fantastically smooth canter and I can’t wait to ride it again!  With better control, of course.

Thankfully, the other horses did wonderful and we even rode dear Blue.  He was absolutely perfect and just thrilled to be working – even carried his own lead rope for me.

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